Developers, makers and hobbyists searching for a camera capable of providing real-time 3D depth data may be interested in the new Onion Tau LiDAR camera, now available via the Crowd Supply website price from $179. Full goes to plan worldwide shipping is expected to take place during May 2021.
“The 3D depth data produced by the Tau LiDAR Camera is ideal for anything from environment mapping (like SLAM), to enabling augmented reality with accurate distance measurements of real-world spaces. There is also a wide variety of computer vision applications (like presence or object detection, use in automation systems or robots, among others).”
The Tau is as easy to use as a regular webcam. Simply plug it into your computer with a USB cable and it will start sending data right away. The key difference is that frames from the Tau camera include depth measurements. These depth measurements are output as 160 x 60 pixels of depth data in real-time, together with a greyscale image of the scene. The range for depth sensing is 0.1 m to 4.5 m and the depth data can be visualized in 3D or 2D for use by humans, or it can be used as input for a program or algorithm. Check out the video below to learn more.
“Using the Tau Studio web app, you can easily see the depth data from the Tau Camera rendered on your computer. This combination of easy-to-use hardware and software provides a great starting point for you to explore 3D depth mapping and its possibilities.”
For full specifications, application usage examples and purchasing options, jump over to the Crowd Supply project page by following the link below.
“The Tau Camera has applications and potential beyond just collecting depth data. It can be paired with other types of hardware to create exciting new projects. For example, it can be combined with an IMU sensor for SLAM-style environment mapping. Are you interested in augmented reality? Use the Tau camera with an RGB camera to create accurate AR scenes. New iPhones are already using this technique – by using RGB and LiDAR cameras in tandem, you can create super accurate AR.”
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